Writing an Essay - H4

Writing an Essay
Write a 300-word essay on one of your novels & hand in

Pick one of the following topics:
  • Influences on the main character(s)
  • Discrimination of coloured people (in the novel)
  • Discrimination of women (in the novel)
  • Child slavery (in the novel)
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Slide 1: Tekstslide

In deze les zitten 11 slides, met tekstslides.

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Writing an Essay
Write a 300-word essay on one of your novels & hand in

Pick one of the following topics:
  • Influences on the main character(s)
  • Discrimination of coloured people (in the novel)
  • Discrimination of women (in the novel)
  • Child slavery (in the novel)

Slide 1 - Tekstslide

Slide 2 - Tekstslide

Tips - part 1
  • Use a 5-paragraph lay-out (hamburger slide) with a white line between each paragraph
  • Start your introduction with general information (main character/plot/setting) OR attention-grabbing statement about the novel (plot = storyline, sequence of events; setting = time & location of story)
  • Start each of the three middel paragraphs with a linking word and a topic sentence. Then give plenty of examples from the  novel.
         Linking words: first of all, second of all, thirdly/third of all - One example/another example/moreover etc.
        The linking word is then followed by the topic of your paragraph. For example: Second of all, in the novel "Twelve Years a Slave"
        the female slave Patsy is severely discriminated as her master repeatedly humiliates, rapes and whips her. One day he forbids 
        her to wash herself with soap. Continue to give examples or describe in detail how he forbids Patsy to wash herself.
  • Finish your essay by repeating the three arguments (topic sentences) in the middle paragraphs OR finish your essay by repeating the strongest argument (topic) sentence to demonstrate for example discrimination in the novel. 

Slide 3 - Tekstslide

Tips - part 2

    • Don't use " I/we/you" in a formal essay -> Use "they", "people" or "it is or was said/believed/written etc."  
           The reason for not using personal pronouns (I/we/you) is that these weaken your arguments. Write in a neutral way.

    • Add details to your sentences, by using adjectives & adverbs. For example: The man ran to the store. Revised (herschreven):   Michael Johnson, a thirty-year-old man,  quickly ran to the store. 
           Adding details makes sentences more interesting.

    •  Combine sentences into one longer sentence
            For example: This girl is my friend. She is in all my classes and I have invited her to my party. My party is on Saturday. (24 w.)  
           Revised: This girl, who is in all my classes, is my friend and I have invited her to my party on Saturday. (21 words) 
           In the revised sentence fewer words are used and the sentence is more natural and more interesting. 
           Avoid writing sentences with repetitive information, because the reader will be bored.

    Slide 4 - Tekstslide

    Tips - part 3

        • Use gerunds (verb + ing as a noun) or participles (3rd form of verb) to avoid too many "that-constructions" or to make your sentences shorter and vary with sentence structure:
               For example: The student that studies hard for his test is the student that succeeds. Revised: Studying hard for a test makes 
               a student succeed.
               For example: She was hurt by the mean comments on social media and cut off all contact with her friends. (18 words) 
               Revised: Hurt by the mean comments on social media, she cut off all contact with her friends. (16 words)

        • Use  synonyms (different words with the same or almost the same meaning) to avoid repetition.
               For example: Discrimination / Unfair treatment based on race  -   Man/Person/Male character - Slavery/enslavement/captivity 

                 As you practice your essay writing, look up synonyms (same meaning words) and antonyms (opposite meaning words) online

          Slide 5 - Tekstslide

          Tips - part 4

              • Check the tenses (werkwoordtijden) of your sentences. Stick to either the  past simple or present simple - be consistent.
                    (Zorg ervoor dat je in dezelfde werkwoordtijd schrijft. 

                    Levendig taalgebruik is de Present Simple. 
                    Wanneer je voorbeelden gaat geven in de middelste drie alinea's, gebruik dan of de Past Simple of de Present Simple. 
                     Dit houdt het helder voor de lezer)

              • Check spelling mistakes (were/we're/where;  there/they're/their;  capital letters for names/cities/titles of novels etc.)

              Slide 6 - Tekstslide


              DELETE unnecessary words - There is still the fact that people discriminate -> People still discriminate. 
              Delete pronouns (I/we/you) in formal essays  - use "people", "they", "it is said" 

              REARRANGE  information in a sentence for stylistic effect (She was hurt by all the comments -> Hurt by all the comments, she ...)

              ADD interesting details (adjectives, adverbs) - The man felt tired -> The old man felt extremely tired after running the marathon.

              FORM gerunds (Knowing he will survive has helped me cope with his accident.) & participles (Hurt by all the negative comments, the royal couple left the country.)

              THINK aloud - read the sentence out loud to hear if it flows well.

              Slide 7 - Tekstslide

              Linking words & website 
              In the next two slides you will find:


              • linking words (to link paragraphs and sentences for coherent (duidelijk/logisch) writing

              • - a website with information on a number of novels you are reading (extremely helpful)

              Slide 8 - Tekstslide

              Slide 9 - Tekstslide

              Slide 10 - Link

              • Practice essay writing a number of times
              (Practice makes perfect)

              • Look up information on your novel in cliffsnotes &
              use general information on slavery/abolitionism (slides in SOM)

              Slide 11 - Tekstslide